A family trip full of treasured memories - Apr 27 - May 7, 2022

Traveler: Clay L. - Local specialist: Chris Gravas

For many years, my husband enjoyed planning our vacations, but now, we are spoiled! Chris did a fabulous job planning our family vacation (and we enjoyed meeting him, too)! We spent ten days traveling to Athens and all through the Pelopennesian coast -- Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nafplio, Olympia, Delphi, and Rafina. The archaeological guides Chris engaged added so much to our experience, too. Our first guide, in Athens, laid the foundations for the trip. Our walk through the Acropolis and the... read more

For many years, my husband enjoyed planning our vacations, but now, we are spoiled! Chris did a fabulous job planning our family vacation (and we enjoyed meeting him, too)! We spent ten days traveling to Athens and all through the Pelopennesian coast -- Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nafplio, Olympia, Delphi, and Rafina. The archaeological guides Chris engaged added so much to our experience, too. Our first guide, in Athens, laid the foundations for the trip. Our walk through the Acropolis and the museum were ten times better because of our knowledgeable and friendly guide. We were with Ilias Papadopoulos for a few days, too, and he really put history and mythology in context for us. We especially enjoyed Olympia - our guide there was a delight, the venue was practically deserted, and her interpretations of the statues and their meanings brought the entire park to life. Delphi was also a fascinating site: the guide again provided context for the visit. Learning how the stories, politics, theater, and everyday life evolved enriched the amazing experience. I apologize for not having everyone's names.

Having an itinerary (all conveyed through the app Wanderlog - complete with directions and suggestions) made the experience virtually stress-free. The hotels Chris chose for us fit our family of five very well -- The Noma in Athens was right at the heart of the action, yet it was quiet and commodious. The Anthemion in Nafplio was beautifully situated. Galixidi and the mountain towns lent a quaint and adventurous aspect to our trip (though we may have slightly regretted taking the beautiful but mountainous and rather harrowing route). Our car rental was also arranged by KimKim, and everything worked out very well.

Overall, I would highly recommend Chris and KimKim for travel planning and implementation. I can't imagine having to book each part ourselves, and I am grateful to them for making our family vacation and son's graduation trip an experience we will always treasure. Next time, THE ISLANDS!

Hotel Reviews

Hotel Europa

Olimpia

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Wow - what meals we had here! We were only here for a late dinner (they gave us a lot of extra dishes to try, and they were fabulous), and breakfast. The breakfast was amazing -- they had such a variety, even of teas and coffees and desserts. The lobbies were cool -- actual Olympic torches (the family has a connection), and the pool area was beautiful, though we didn't have time to enjoy it. The rooms were spacious, if a little dated, and the staff was very nice. We purchased some olive oil to take home, too!

Noma Hotel

Athens

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

We thought the Noma was ideally situated for our three days in Athens. The staff was friendly and responsive. We had three rooms reserved because of the size of our party, and each was different, but they all worked. We enjoyed the tiny balcony on the second floor. The elevator was nice, and there was a little lobby. Our bath towels were the size of hand towels, even after exchanging them (but another couple in our party had normal-sized towels). One of the rooms had a bathroom that was not exactly private from the rest of the room. We would have probably rather have gotten breakfast on our own -- what was offered was pretty plain and monotonous -- a croissant, eggs, and coffee -- no fruit, no pastries. The rooms were comfortable and stocked (for a fee). The best part about it was being able to step out right into the heart of Athens.

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Very conveniently located to many great neighborhoods and attractions

Ganimede Hotel

Galaxidi

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Charming rooms, nice breakfast, excellent location -- a good place to stay in a very nice town!

Anthemion Suites & Villas

Nafplio

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

What a beautiful place. The rooms were luxurious and the patios were exquisite! The view was amazing. I wish the one day we had marked as a "leisure" day would have been nice enough for us to have enjoyed the pool and maybe taken a hike in the fields, if that was allowed. (It rained all day.) The breakfasts were delightful -- we loved having such a wide selection and the dishes were refilled often. The location was convenient (since we had a car), and we were happy to stay a bit outside of town. We had two rooms (one for two people and one for three). I would have liked to have had a microwave or coffee maker in our room (for two). The staff was excellent -- there had been a small mix-up with the reservation, but it was quickly corrected and everyone was very solicitous.

Staff

Location

Avra Hotel Rafina

Rafina, Athens

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Two of three rooms were facing the water, so that was nice. We weren't there for very long (it was our night-before-the-airport hotel), but it was very nice. The breakfast was wonderful - a lot of variety. I wonder if the Greek people eat so many desserts for breakfast or if they just think that Americans and other travelers do! Ha ha! Still, it was a breakfast full of a huge variety and we enjoyed it very much. The best part was the location and not having to stay at the airport!

Activity Reviews

Olympia visit & guided tour

Greece

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Our guide was different from the one originally scheduled, but she was fabulous and we are so happy she joined us for our late afternoon tour. She brought Olympia alive with knowledge and passion. She "crowned" our son after he beat my daughter running on the stadia. What an amazing experience! She shared her own archeological experiences with us as she filled in the years. She taught us about the meanings of the statues. I really couldn't compliment her enough -- this experience was our favorite of all of the days and tours.

Guides, drivers and staff

Our guide was phenomenal. Hands down the best.

Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Guided Tour

Athens

Overall Rating
Activity Review

While it was crowded and it was a windy, but sunny day, the experience of the Acropolis can't be beat. Our guide was extremely helpful in leading us around and providing the context for the experience. The viewers were very cool, and we loved that our guide showed us all over the museum, showing us the connections between the Acropolis and the museum, and teaching us about the history and the meanings behind the statues.

Guides, drivers and staff

Car rental - Nafplio to Olympia

Greece

Overall Rating
Activity Review

My recommendations are the following: ** Change the pin in the Wanderlog app for the Delphi location. It took us to the town rather than to the site by the museum where we needed to meet the guide. We were therefore about twenty minutes late, and the guide had to leave us earlier than we would have liked (I think he had another tour). Delphi ended up being our shortest tour as a result. ** Make sure the drivers know where to drop the car off at the airport -- with a pin maybe on the app. This part caused a lot of stress and driving around, being unsure where to go. The person who dropped the car off to us was not clear, and it wasn't precise in the app. ** Make sure the driver knows what kind of gas to get! There are a lot of choices and we weren't really sure. Luckily, the service station people knew what to use !

Wine tasting in Nemea

Nafplio

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Because one member of our party works in the wine industry, we were really looking forward to a tour so that he could compare the sites. We really only got to see the cellars and the showroom. We asked some questions, but the guide didn't go too far off-script. The tasting was okay -- we were given two whites and two reds. None of them knocked my socks off, so to speak. The lunch was fabulous and gave us a great taste (ha ha) of some Greek food we hadn't tried yet. The venue was very pretty.

Food

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

The guide could have shown us around more, found out what wines we liked, been around at the end...

Nafplio Coast and Palamidi Castle Foothills Hike

Nafplio

Overall Rating
Activity Review

While the information was interesting and we thought a lot of the guide, we concluded that we prefer more historic tours. I don't think we realized that this "hike" was actually more of a walk through the town. We had, on the rainy day, already walked through much of the town, and we had driven up to see the coast the day before. I can appreciate the intent of the hike, but it just wasn't for us.

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Chris Gravas profile photo
Chris Gravas, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Cheryl, Clay, Curt, Claire and Sophia,

I can't thank you enough for your kind words and most detailed evaluation of our services! It was an absolute pleasure to work with you and take care of every detail so that everything is exactly the way you wanted it. We constantly re-assess our services and partners, so that we improve in all aspects and provide our travelers with excellent services. Thus, your comprehensive overview of almost every element of your trip is most valuable and... read more

Dear Cheryl, Clay, Curt, Claire and Sophia,

I can't thank you enough for your kind words and most detailed evaluation of our services! It was an absolute pleasure to work with you and take care of every detail so that everything is exactly the way you wanted it. We constantly re-assess our services and partners, so that we improve in all aspects and provide our travelers with excellent services. Thus, your comprehensive overview of almost every element of your trip is most valuable and welcome, and we will make sure to pass on the appropriate improvements to future travelers, as well as yourselves, should you hopefully re-visit our beautiful country and go to the islands!

It was an honor to get to know most of you in person at the hotel in Athens (Sophia, sorry I did not catch you) and I will gladly help you again in any future trip to Greece.

Wishing you all the best for the summer!

Warm regards,
Chris